Naked Science Forum

General Science => General Science => Topic started by: Hannah LS on 03/01/2019 15:56:06

Title: What could cloning be used for in the future?
Post by: Hannah LS on 03/01/2019 15:56:06
Michelle asks:

What will cloning do to help Mankind? Why?

Any ideas?
Title: Re: What could cloning be used for in the future?
Post by: alancalverd on 03/01/2019 17:18:16
We already clone potatoes, bananas, and various other plants. Whilst this guarantees consistency of yield, it is difficult to stay ahead of evolving diseases and it is quite possible that edible bananas, for instance, may become extinct or at least very rare.

Animal clones have turned out to be rather shortlived and of no more obvious value than animals bred in the usual way. There is no obvious use for artificially cloned humans, though natural twins are fun The most obvious ecological disaster is oversupply of humans as we strive to eliminate causes of death without creating any more land for our immortal descendants to live on. The idea of cloning a human as "spare parts" would be illegal or pointless as the spare would either be a slave with no opportunity to withhold consent to harvest his organs, or just another twin. Questions of legal parentage and inheritance would quickly outweigh any useful purpose to which a clone could be put.

Fact is that sexual reproduction is cheap, enjoyable and usefully unpredictable. Cloning (other than for honey bees and staple food crops) is not.
Title: Re: What could cloning be used for in the future?
Post by: evan_au on 03/01/2019 20:30:28
Your microbiome is mostly populated with clones.

A few helpful bacteria, fungi and viruses picked up at birth multiply by cloning themselves to help you digest various types of food.
- There are hints that a healthy microbiome can outcompete pathogens like c.dificile, lead to a healthy weight and a good mood...